The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) chairman held a video conference with his mayors to discuss the steps that need to be taken by municipalities to fight the spread of the coronavirus. Party members prepared posters and booklets on the coronavirus to be distributed by municipalities as the number of confirmed cases in the nation and globally increase on a daily basis.
Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu held a “fight against COVID-19” teleconference with CHP mayors, including Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş, Adana Mayor Zeydan Karalar, Antalya Mayor Muhittin Böcek, Aydın Mayor Özlem Çerçioğlu, Eskişehir Mayor Yılmaz Büyükerşen, Hatay Mayor Lütfü Saraç, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, İzmir Mayor Tunç Soyer, Mersin Mayor Vahap Seçer, Muğla Mayor Osman Gürün and Tekirdağ Mayor Kadir Albayrak.
“I am not pessimistic, and I hope you’re also not pessimistic,” Kılıçdaroğlu told the mayors.
The opposition chairman pledged to fight the virus in a determined manner, as he told them to address hygiene needs in impoverished neighborhoods.
The CHP administration instructed all provincial and district municipalities to hang the posters and place booklets in public areas to raise awareness about the coronavirus, as some individuals ignore Turkish officials’ calls to stay home to prevent the spread of the virus.
Turkish political parties have been taking precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus as they canceled weekly parliamentary group meetings and congresses.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Good Party (İP) and CHP disinfected their headquarters and have adopted different measures to fight the pandemic.
The Grand National Assembly of Turkey said no visitors would be allowed in Parliament until March 31.
The minimum number of lawmakers will continue to hold debates on the economic omnibus bill in Parliament. Amendments, in line with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's recommendations, may be made to the bill later, according to sources.
The Parliament has been strictly enforcing measures against the coronavirus.
Turkey set up a task force of experts following the first emergence of the outbreak, repeatedly issuing new warnings and unveiling ever more stringent measures in the fight against the virus.
Thermal screening devices were first installed at airports to prevent the entry of infected passengers from abroad, while flights to and from Italy, South Korea, Iran and Iraq were later canceled. On Feb. 23, border crossings with Iran were shut down. Iraqi borders have since also been temporarily closed. Meanwhile, municipalities are routinely disinfecting mass transit vehicles and other crowded spaces. On Wednesday, daily rail service between Istanbul and Bulgaria's Sofia was suspended amid coronavirus fears. The Turkish State Railways (TCDD) announced that their trains are being disinfected daily.
As Ankara ramped up measures to curb the outbreak, the Interior Ministry ordered a nationwide closure of almost all places of social gathering, including cafes, cinemas, gyms and wedding halls. The ministry earlier ordered all bars, discos and nightclubs in all provinces to be closed down as well. The country’s top religious authority, the Presidency of Religious Affairs (DİB), announced a ban on prayer gatherings, including Friday prayers, while leaving the mosques open to people who want to perform daily prayers.
The government earlier closed schools for two weeks starting on March 16, while universities have been closed for three weeks.